You’ve made up your mind and you’ve made your resolution. This is the year you have said you’re going to do it! You are going to take care of yourself! Great! I have similar plans myself. I love it! It’s an exciting time! Having worked in health clubs I know what’s about to happen. Last week I could drive up to my gym and park leisurely with multiple spots from which to choose. But this week, and the next—heck, this may go on for the whole month, the lot will be jammed packed. You know why? Of course you do. I’ve been announcing this to my husband in my Paul Revere voice… “The Resolutions are coming! The Resolutions are coming!” And sure enough, they are there. And I am happy. It may even be you! Let me be the first to applaud you!
What I want to tell you though is this. I have watched this phenom for several years now and what happens is, that around Valentine’s Day (yes, that fast!), the parking spaces open up once again. And my heart goes out to those same people who have bought all the gear; and have basements, closets, and storage spaces crammed with all kinds of fitness gadgets and gizmos, and DVDs to boot. And somehow like a fading sunset on the horizon, people get back into whatever it is that makes them lose their drive, dedication, and commitment to themselves.
I don’t want this to happen to you (or me!) I want this year to be different! I want us to stay committed to ourselves! And I have come to understand it as simply as this: what you put into it (“it” being your investment in yourself) is what you will get out. We understand this with banking. We know we can’t go up to an ATM with our debit card to withdraw money if we haven’t deposited anything in. We understand this with our jobs. We know that we can’t expect raises or promotions if we don’t do the work. But someone, we give up on ourselves if we don’t get instant results within days, weeks, or a month or two from exercise.
But not this time! You will not be duped again! The people on the cover of the magazines didn’t get that way from a 4-week exercise program, even if the cover of the magazine says that. They have developed habits and routines that they have used over and over and over to achieve results. The same is true for weight loss stories of people who’ve lost ten, twenty, or thirty or more pounds in a short time. Sure, they most definitely changed their diet and exercise regimen, but it didn’t happen in one day. They made a decision every day, and a meal at a time, to change.
And that’s the point I’m making. Because this year is going to be different, we are going to once and for all surrender to this crave for instant gratification. It is unhealthy and unreasonable. There is no way you can expect years of overeating and poor nutrition to instantly go away in a month or two or three. Now don’t get me wrong. I know people who have had extraordinary results in a 90-day time frame, but it was the daily choice that they made at every meal and every exercise session that did it.
The secret is for you not to overwhelm yourself with the end result. This year, instead, enjoy the process. When you go back to work and the donuts are there, don’t fall into the trap and tell yourself the lie that this one won’t make a difference, because it does. It’s the little things that add up to the big problems. Yes, I absolutely know you can have donuts and other stuff in moderation. But, just so we’re clear—haven’t we already had that stuff “in moderation” which is why we have arrived at this place needing this New Year’s Resolution? You see? That’s how the insidious thinking trap works. We dupe ourselves into believing you can have just one. You deserve it.
But don’t do it! Not this year! Not this time!
This time we are going to DO what we have set out to DO a meal, snack, and workout at a time. And if the scale takes some time to move, this time, you are going to be patient with yourself. You love your kids. You love your job (maybe). You love your spouse. You love your pet. You love others. This time and this year, however, you are going to love yourself, the most important person in this equation.
Now put on your seatbelt for the ride of your life. You are about to take yourself to new heights. You are investing in yourself and doing the good you know you have to do, a breath, meal, day, and choice at a time. Looking forward to seeing you in my parking spot!
In fitness and in health,